Florida wildlife is awesome. . . and I'm not just talking about people watching at the local coffee shop, the varieties of personalities that I am fortunate to work with, or the crow-sized gallinipper mosquitos. The wildlife that I refer to is actual animals, of which there are a large variety here in Miami.
My day started with a longboard ride to the store and coffee, then some work, and some more work. After that was all done, I got to do something that I love, which is go running. Most of the time, this seems like a pretty boring thing to do, so you have to make it interesting for yourself. Personally, I try to find places that either let me see some of the town I am in, of which I would remain ignorant otherwise, or areas that I should not be in.
The best venue in which to go for a running adventure is definitely a golf course. First off, you are not supposed to be there in the first place, so that's awesome. Second, there is an element of danger, you might get beaned by a golf ball. Thirdly, there are animals. In tropical climates, the latter never fails to please. And yeah, there are also course wardens, but they are usually slow, and if you behave appropriately, help find some lost balls, and generally stay out of the way, you stand a good chance of getting your whole run in.
Usually, on a golf course, you would expect to find some aggressive ducks, maybe a squirrel or two, and of course, bad golfers. But in Miami, the fauna come in a myriad of flavors. Yes, there are the usual ducks and errant gulls, but there are lizards everywhere! They are underfoot, in bushes, trees, and your apartment. But, the golf course is where you find the big boys. Today, I saw some baby gators, turtles, a snake, and dozens of 4-5 foot iguanas.
Let's talk iguanas for a minute. Unfortunately, I don't run with my phone, so I couldn't take pictures, but they were huge! I am used to the 'American Household Iguana', which is usually characterized by it's introverted tendencies and extreme lethargy. These guys down here are fast, active, climb trees as fast as squirrels, and definitely have a better outlook on life. They are also about twice the size of the iguanas found in the great white north. For them, the golf course habitat is like a Wal-Mart shopper living in a Golden Corral.
It is truly a gift to be able to have a career that let's me have stories like this to share. Running past alligators, iguanas, and course wardens is not an out of the ordinary experience for me. But keeping your eyes open also helps you to see the unexpected adventures in the everyday that come your way. I would write more, but tonight is my favorite night of the week in Hollywood, FL. And no, it's not football-related. It's the weekly Food Truck Invasion! ... so I'm off, and yes, will take pictures.